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torah commentary
Pesach offers chance to celebrate true freedom
Passover Exodus 12:21-12:51, Numbers 28:16-28:25 As we approach the holiday of Pesach, I would like to draw your attention to one of the holiday’s most powerful messages. The holiday of Pesach is a...
Apr 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Hunger on the verge
Parshat Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:33 Shabbat Hagadol Toward the beginning of the Passover seder, we raise the matzahs and say, “Ha lachma anya — This the is bread of …” what? Is it the bread of af...
Apr 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Why we don’t edit the Torah
Parshat Tazria Leviticus, 12:1-13:59; Numbers 28:9-15, Exodus 12:1-20 Shabbat Hachodesh Don’t you wish you could edit out the things in your life that you don’t like? Wouldn’t it be nice to go back...
Apr 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Gone out of their heads
Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47, Numbers 19:1-22 The Associated Press ran a story some time ago of Andre-Francois Raffray. More than 30 years ago at the age of 47, he worked out a real estate ...
Mar 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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It’s all in the relationship
Relationships take work. Anyone who has ever been in any kind of relationship with another person — whether a friend, family member, co-worker, spouse or significant other, or even an acquaintance ...
Mar 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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The small, silent aleph
Parshat Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26, Deuteronomy 25:17-19 The third of the Torah’s five books is known to most of us by its Latin name Leviticus. This is because the book’s  greatest concerns are t...
Mar 16, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
No inconsequential kindness
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs, UPMC Shadyside
May 23, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 184 184 recommendations | email to a friend
Beha-Alotekha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 When Miriam the prophetess sinned and was afflicted with tza’raas [a spiritual ‘leprosy-like’ disease], she was required to remain outside the camp. During her reco...
Broken promises addressed by Torah
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr, Temple Hadar Israel, New Castle
May 17, 2013 | 2 2 comments | 191 191 recommendations | email to a friend
Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Parsha Naso is interesting. While a great deal of the sedra refers to its name, identifying the offerings and count of the leaders of each tribe, or nasiam, there are isolat...
Our firstborn no longer belong to God
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
May 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 172 172 recommendations | email to a friend
Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 Once upon a time, a long time ago, every firstborn belonged to God. We were always supposed to give the first of all “our fruits” to God, literally. Now, let’s go way bac...
Shabbat as a utopian ideal
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
May 02, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 169 169 recommendations | email to a friend
Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34 This week’s Torah reading is drawn from a double portion, Behar-Behukotai. Behar is associated with the laws of sabbatical; that is, we are instructed to allow...
You kiss your mother with that mouth? Blasphemy then and now
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Apr 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23 This week’s portion ends with a troubling story of blasphemy, social isolation and death.  (I know … a lot of our Torah portions have troubling stories of blasp...
‘Can’t we all just get along?’
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Apr 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 147 147 recommendations | email to a friend
Achare Mot–Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27 Those famous words, “Can’t we all just get along?” were plaintively said by Rodney King, whose beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Police more than 20 ...
Getting it together
by Rabbi Joe Hample, Tree of Life Congregation, Morgantown, W.Va.
Apr 10, 2013 | 1 1 comments | 145 145 recommendations | email to a friend
Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 Just between you and me, I feel a lot of ambivalence.  I’m full of faith and doubt, calm and stress, gloom and hope.  I’m an introverted extrovert, a sloppy per...
That which enters your mouth is also important
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa
Apr 04, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 136 136 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 There are those who believe that the Jewish dietary laws were given to the people of Israel primarily for health concerns.  They maintain that the unclean animals enume...
A lingering lesson
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 145 145 recommendations | email to a friend
Chol Hamoed Pesach Without a doubt, Passover is my favorite holiday. Food was always at the center of my family’s celebration and remembrance of our people’s journey from slavery to freedom (yours ...
Hallelu Yah!
by Cantor Richard Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Mar 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 144 144 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat HaGaddol Leviticus 6:1–8:36 This year, Parashat Tzav is also Shabbat HaGaddol — the last Shabbat before Passover. On Monday night, we will all sit down to our first Pesach seder. We’ll ask ...